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Showing posts from September, 2014

The Three Traumas of Adoption (based on the writings of Betty Jean Lifton)

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I have been re-reading Journey of the Adopted Self by Betty Jean Lifton (psychologist, author, adoptee).  I read it in 2006 at the beginning of my adoption reunion journey.

The dedication at the beginning of the book reads like this:

"To the memory of my adoptive mother Hilda and my birth Mother Rae who might have known and even liked each other in another life and another adoption system."

I love this book.  I experienced so many revelations when reading this book the first time.  It was complete validation for everything I felt growing up and a realization that I am not crazy when I feel wounded, damaged or misplaced for growing up in closed adoption.

As I've stated before, my opinion is that closed adoption is a form of emotional abuse.  After re-reading Journey of the Adopted self 8 years later post-reunion, I found that Betty Jean Lifton agrees with me.  She states that telling a child he or she is adopted without "really telling the facts/truth", is disru…

Dear Abby re: your column dated 8-31-14 from "Keeper of the Secret in Illinois"

Abby received a letter from an adoptive mother:

"Many years ago, we adopted three children through our state's child welfare system.  At the time, we knew they had full and half-siblings somewhere "in the system"  We have not yet told our children they have biological siblings, although they do know their birth parents are no longer living due to drug abuse. 
I was recently able to locate two of the full siblings through Internet research, and I have been following their lives on their social networking pages.  Both are adults now -- one is a college student; the other is a young mother.  I am torn. My children are teenagers now and old enough to be told they have other siblings.  But should I uproot these young women's lives to learn about us and meet our children?  I'm also not sure whether they know the circumstances of their biological parents' deaths or would want that information.
It doesn't seem fair to dump all this on a college student and a…